Unani Qurtum

Siddha/Tamil ► Chendurakam.

Action ► Oil—aids prevention of arteriosclerosis, coronary heart disease and kidney disorders as a polyunsaturated fat. Flowers— stimulant, sedative, diuretic, emmenagogue; used in fevers and eruptive skin conditions, measles.

Carum bulbocastanum W. Koch.

Charred safflower oil is used in rheumatism and for healing sores.

Key application ► Dried flowers— in cardiovascular diseases, amen-orrhoea, dysmenorrhoea and retention of lochia; also in wounds and sores with pain and swelling. (Pharmocopoeia of the People's Republic of China, 1997.)

Safflower contains carthamone, lig-nans and a polysaccharide. The poly-saccharide, composed of xylose, fructose, galactose, glucose, arabinose, rhamnose and uronic acid residues, stimulates immune function in mice. It induced antibody formation in mice following peritoneal injection. Extracts of flowers have also been tested in China on blood coagulation, where a prolongation of clothing time was observed and platelet aggregation inhibited. Chinese research indicates that Safflower flowers can reduce coronary artery disease, and lower cholesterol levels. Flowers and seeds exhibit lipase activity. The flower extract also exhibited anti-inflammatory, sedative and analgesic effect and inhibitory effect on spontaneous motor activity.

The plant contains a propanetriol derivative, which can be used for the treatment of circulatory disorders.

Recent research suggests that improving the lipid profile might not be as important to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease as suggested. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

Safflower is contraindicated in pregnancy, gastric disorders, excessive menstruation, haemorrhagic diseases.

Wild and thorny Safflower, growing in the arid tract of Haryana and Punjab (locally known as Kantiaari, Poli, Poiyan) is equated with C. oxy-cantha Bieb. The plant is diuretic. Seed oil is applied topically to ulcers. The plant contains a sesquiterpene gly-coside. Aerial parts contain hinesol-beta-D-fucopyranoside. The plant also contains luteolin-7-glucoside.

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